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COUNTER-ISLAMIST GRID 


Reassessing Denver’s Countering Violent 
Extremism Program 

Ahnaf Kalam, Counter-Islamist Grid 
ahnafkalam@gmail. com 


Note: While the Countering Violent Extremism program focuses on a variety of different forms of 
ideological extremism, this dossier exclusively focuses on efforts in countering radical Islamist 
extremism. 

Executive summary: 

In 2016, the Denver Police Department received a $483,000 grant to supplement its Countering 
Violent Extremism (CVE) program, some amount of which is going directly to extremist-linked 
individuals and organizations. 

As outlined in the DPD’s grant proposal, CVE’s primary strategy is to integrate disenfranchised 
and poorly-integrated members of the community who are at risk of radicalization towards 
violent extremism. CVE’s main mechanism for accomplishing this is its Officer Education & 
Training component, which seeks to build and foster relationships with at-risk individuals and 
communities and to demonstrate to them that law enforcement can in fact be trusted. 

One at-risk group noted by DPD are those susceptible to being recruited to join foreign Islamist 
terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. Accordingly, the local Muslim group designated by the 
DPD for the Officer Education & Training program is Colorado Muslim Connection, (CMC) a 
network of Muslims in Colorado engaged in Islamic outreach and activism efforts in the local 
Muslim community. 

CMC is led and organized by Nadeen Ibrahim, who is the CVE Outreach Coordinator. Ibrahim is 
a distinguished young member of the Denver community who has received considerable 
recognition for her activism and involvement in the Denver community. Of utmost concern, 
however, are Ibrahim’s and CMC’s views and connections which are entirely antithetical and 
counterproductive to the intended objectives and outcomes of CVE’s Officer Education & 
Training program. 

Ibrahim works closely with the Colorado chapter of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the 
US affiliate organization of the Pakistani Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as with the 
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Americans Society (MAS) - both of 
which have been identified by federal prosecutors as front organizations of the Muslim 
Brotherhood in the United States. CMC is also sponsored by ICNA. 









As such, it is highly necessary that DPD reconsider Ibrahim and CMC as the designated actors 
responsible for CVE’s community outreach, and further, that the DPD receives intensive training 
and education on foreign and domestic Islamist organizations, as well as the front organizations 
under whose guise they operate lawfully and in a seemingly benign manner. 

Overview of situation: 

In 2016, Denver’s Police Department was one of 26 state police departments to receive a grant 
for a Homeland Security-sponsored Countering Violent Extremism strategy 1 . In their grant 
proposal, DPD cites recent instances of a woman from Arvada as well as three high school 
students from Aurora who, in 2014, all attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS after being 
radicalized online as the main reason why a grant to establish a CVE program was necessary. 

The main objective of DPD’s proposed CVE program is to prevent violent extremism, primarily 
through community outreach initiatives. 2 

But what’s missing from the 2016 CVE initiative, both in Denver and at the national level, is any 
sort of willingness to specifically distinguish the threats posed by Islamist extremism. Denver’s 
CVE program echoes the language of the Obama Administration’s revisions to the 2011 pilot 
Homeland Security CVE program, and mentions specifically that violent extremism is not 
limited to any one race, religion, political belief, or ideology. 3 This is not only refusing to 
acknowledge the unique problem of Islamist radicalization in the community, but goes even 
further by suggesting that there is no link between violent Islamist extremism and the ideology of 
Islamism - even after four young people from Colorado were radicalized by Islamists and had 
attempted to join ISIS in a single year. 

Such a claim also fails to recognize the diversity within Islam, and instead, makes Muslims out 
to be one monolithic group. To best navigate the vast range of ideological beliefs among the 
world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, any initiative focused on countering Islamist extremism must 
understand the distinction between Muslims, who are all followers of Islam who range in 
ideology from peaceful moderates, to ISIS suicide bombers; and Islamists, Muslims who seek to 
impose, by violent or non-violent means, the imposition of Islamic law over society, and seek to 

impose Islam on non-Muslims. 

The CVE program’s community outreach initiative is aimed at creating trust between at-risk 
communities and law enforcement by designating a trusted, representative liaison for the 


1 Noelle Phillips, "Denver Police Land $240K Grant to Counter Violent Extremism," The Denver Post, January 13, 
2017,, accessed February 04, 2019, https://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/13/denver-police-240k-grant-violent- 
extremism/. 

2 "fy 2016 Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program." City and County of Denver and Denver Police 
Department to US Department of Homeland Security. September 6, 2016. 1331 Cherokee Street, Denver, CO. 


3 Ibid. 



respective communities. Specifically, with regards to Denver’s Muslim community the CVE 
proposal fails to specify that the designated liaison must be a moderate as opposed to someone 
who is extreme in their associations and views, and nowhere are there any guidelines for what 
would constitutes a ‘moderate.’ 

For the position of outreach coordinator for the local Muslim community, DPD has hired Nadeen 
Ibrahim, 4 a Palestinian-immigrant who runs the local group ‘Colorado Muslim Connection,’ 
which DPD also names as one of the groups that it currently has relationships with for CVE’s 
officer education and training program. 

Nadeen Ibrahim is a recent graduate from CU Denver who has garnered considerable recognition 
for her activism and community engagement in the Denver community. In the past, she was 
appointed by the mayor of Denver to serve as the commissioner for the Denver Immigrant and 
Refugee Commission and was a board member on the Colorado Department of Public Health 
and Environment. Currently, she studies public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at 
Oxford University. 5 

A quick look at Ibrahim’s resume and her accomplishments within the Denver community, one 
could see why somebody with credentials and a background like Ibrahim’s might be the ideal 
candidate for this position, but a closer look at her affiliations and networks reveal a history of 
activities counterproductive to CVE objectives as well as links to a number of radical Islamist 
organizations which operate openly and lawfully within the US under the guise of benign, 
moderate non-profits, interest groups, and charities but whose agendas run counter to the goals of 
the CVE program. 

Among these organizations are: 

• Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) 

• Muslim Americans Society (MAS) 

• Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) 

• Islamic Relief USA 

• Muslim Student Association (MSA) 

• The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Movement 

Further, Colorado Muslim Connection, (CMC) the local Muslim organization fronted by Ibrahim 
named by DPD as a partner for its Officer Education and Training Program is sponsored by 


4 Ibid. 


5 Nadeen Ibrahim’s Linkedln Profile, https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadeen-ibrahim-465534a9/ . Accessed February 4, 
2019. 




ICNA. 6 As well, its website is currently non-operational, its Facebook page has not been updated 
since 2017, and there is currently no registered record of CMC with the Colorado Secretary of 
State’s office. 


Background on Islamist Organizations: 

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA): Islamic Circle of 
North America, based out of Queens, NY, was founded in 1968 
as a “non-ethnic, non-sectarian, open-to-all, independent” 
grassroots organization whose stated objective is “to seek the 
pleasure of Allah [...] through the [...] establishment of the 
Islam in all spheres of life.” 7 ICNA’s activities include training 
camps, speaking events, retreats, seminars, and various forms 
of community outreach. 8 

ICNA was established as the American affiliate wing of Jamaat- 
E-Islami, (JI) the largest Islamist group in South Asia. 9 JI is the 
group whose members were complicit in the genocide of up to 
3 million Bangladeshis during that nation’s war of 
independence in 1971. 10 Further, JI’s military wing, Hizb-ul- 
Mujahideen, has been designated by the U.S. State Department 
as a foreign terrorist organization. * 11 Indeed, Hizb-ul- 
Mujahideen owned the Pakistani compound which was 
harboring Osama Bin Laden at his time of death. 12 



Thank you to our 
Colorado Muslim 
Connection 
Sponsors! 


ICNA 

ISLAMIC CIRCLE 

♦/ NORTH AMERICA 


Donate - CO 
ICNA 


If you are interested in 
sponsoring, please contact 
Nadeen (President) at 
ibr.nadeen@gmail.com 


Source: Colorado Muslim Connection 
Newsletter. June 16, 2017 Vol. 1, Issue 29 


6 "FY 2016 Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program." City and County of Denver and Denver Police 
Department to US Department of Homeland Security. September 6, 2016. 1331 Cherokee Street, Denver, CO. 

7 “Contact Us”, ICNA website, https://www.icna.org/contact-us/ 

8 “About Us”, ICNA website, https://www.icna.org/about-icna/ 

9 Westrop, Sam, and Sam Westrop. "Pakistani Islamism Flourishes in America." National Review. January 24, 2018. 
Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/01/pakistani-terror-groups-charitable-guises-us- 
fiinds/. 

10 "Ghulam's Jamaat: Genesis of Genocide." Dhaka Tribune. October 24, 2014. Accessed February 11, 2019. https:// 
www.dhakatribune.com/uncategorized/2014/10/24/ghulams-jamaat-genesis-of-genocide. 

11 "State Department Terrorist Designation of Hizbul Mujahideen." U.S. Department of State. August 16, 2017. 
Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.state.gOv/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/08/273468.htm. 

12 ITGD Bureau. "Osama's Hideout in Pakistan Belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen: Report." India Today. May 06, 
2011. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.indiatoday.in/world/americas/story/hizbul-mujahideen-owned- 
hideout-of-osama-in-pak-report-133130-2011-05-04. 





In 1991, ICNA was named alongside 29 other Islamic organizations identified in a Muslim 
Brotherhood document titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for 
the Group in North America” as an “organization of our friends” which shares its goal of 
indoctrinating Muslims that: 

“their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western 

civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands [...] so that 

[...] God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. ” 13 

In 2010, ICNA released a Member s Handbook in which it explains that its ultimate goal is “the 
Establishment of Islam” as the basis of global governance, and further goes on to explain a five- 
stage program for the establishment of a global caliphate. 14 

Domestically, whilst operating under the guise of a benign Muslim civil interest organization, 
ICNA regularly invites hardline Islamists and anti-American extremists to speak openly and 
publicly at its events, speakers who make no secret of their problematic views and ambitions. For 
instance, in 2000, one Tayyib Yunus, head of ICNA’s youth division, was invited to speak at 
ICNA’s 25th national conference in Baltimore, where he encouraged American Muslims to go to 
Chechnya and wage jihad. 15 In 2003, ICNA’s West Coast chapter hosted a session titled “Gone 
but Not Forgotten: Imam Hassan al-Banna and Maulana Maududi,” which paid tribute and 
respect to the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood and ICNA. 16 Another ICNA conference in 
2009 featured one Ragheb Elsergany, who asserted the claim that waging “jihad in the way of 
Allah” is the best way to “please Allah,” further clarifying that this includes providing support to 
“the fighters and the mujahideen [Muslim warriors] and the besieged, and those in need there in 
Palestine.” 17 These are simply a few among many other instances of Islamist extremists speaking 
openly and without contest at ICNA events in the US. 


ICNA In Colorado: ICNA’s relatively new Colorado chapter (ICNA-CO) is no exception. In 
February 2018, ICNA-CO, along with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) organized a 
Colorado-wide campus speaking tour for its vice president, Imam Khalid Griggs, titled “History 


13 "Explanatory Memorandum by Muslim Brotherhood From 1991." The New York Times. February 09, 2017. 
Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/09/world/middleeast/document- 
elbarasse-search-3.html. 

14 ICNA Members’ Handbook. 2010. https://www.investigativeproiect.org/documents/misc/475.pdf 

15 Schwartz, Stephen. "The Road from Riyadh to Beslan." The Weekly Standard. September 11, 2004. Accessed 
February 11, 2019. https://www.weeklystandard.com/stephen-schwartz/the-road-from-riyadh-to-beslan. 

16 ICNA West Leadership Development Seminar, https://web.archive.org/web/20120911223414/http://icnasc.org/ 
programs/lds200310.pdf 

17 "CA1R Protests Saudi Radical's Exclusion From U.S." The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Accessed February 
12, 2019. https://www.investigativeproject.org/3864/cair-protests-saudi-radical-exclusion-from-us. 






of Islam in America: the Quest for Social Justice” in observance of Black History Month. Griggs 
spoke at the University of Colorado’s Denver and Boulder Campuses, at the University of 
Denver, and at Colorado State University. 18 In his speech at the University of Colorado, Denver, 
he began by describing the United States as a country rife with “neo-Nazis goose-stepping 
through the streets” and an “explosion in the membership of the Ku Klux Klan,” before going on 
to suggest that the remedy to such American political polarization can historically be found in an 
Islamic society 19 - an allusion to ICNA’s self-described greater interest. 

Imam Griggs is also a longtime friend and vocal supporter of Jamil al Amin (A.K.A. H. Rap 
Brown), a former Black Panther-turned-extremist-imam who is currently serving a life sentence 
for the murder of Atlanta Police Deputy Richard Kinchen and the attempted murder of Officer 
Aldranon English. 20 

Griggs is a vocal supporter of a popular conspiracy theory which suggests that despite being 
found guilty of all 13 charges against al Amin, the U.S. government arrested him because of a 
vendetta against him for having participated in the Civil Rights Movement. 21 In 2016, ICNA’s 
Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ) launched an online petition demanding al Amin’s 
immediate release from prison. 22 Decades earlier in 1997, one ICNA convention in Pittsburgh 
featured Khalid Griggs speaking alongside Jamil al-Amin to an audience of 3,000-4,000 
attendees. Also on the panel for the ICNA event was Siraj Wahhaj, a radical imam with a long 
record of endorsing violence, 23 who once served as a “character witness” for 1993 World Trade 
Center bombing conspiracy leader Omar Abdelrahman. 24 


18 ICNA CO Facebook. “Events” https://www.facebook.com/pg/icnaco/events/7reUpage internal 

19 "ICNAColorado." Facebook. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.facebook.com/icnaco/videos/ 
418840738571892/ . Livestream of Khalid Griggs’s speech at CU Denver. 

20 Pressley, Sue Anne. "Ex-Black Panther Convicted Of Murder." The Washington Post. March 10, 2002. Accessed 
February 12, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/Q3/10/ex-black-panther-convicted-of- 
murder/45115cdd-4164-455e-9a 1 a-eb51891 dc996/?utm_term=.6262c9e4cf78 . 

21 “The Conspiracy of Jamil al-Amin” Khalid Griggs. Audio lecture archived at http://wr5.aswatalislam.net/ 
data2012/Lectures//Other%20Lectures/Khalid%2QGriggs%20- 
%20Imam%20Jamil%20Victim%20of°/o20Conspiracv%20(www. aswatalislam.net). mp3 

22 "Sign Petition: Request Obama to Release Imam Jamil Al-Amin." ICNA Council for Social Justice. Accessed 
February 12, 2019. http://icnacsj.org/2016/12/sign-petition-request-obama-to-release-imam-jamil-al-amin/ . 

23 Swindle, David M. "Silicon Valley-Subsidized Hate Speakers: Siraj Wahhaj." Middle East Forum. Accessed 
March 10, 2019. https://www.meforum.org/6576/svcf-hate-speakers-siraj-walilraj. 

24 Ali, M. "Muslim American Activism: Annual ICNA Convention Draws More than 3,000." Washington Report on 
Middle East Affairs - WRMEA. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.wrmea.org/1997-october-november/ 
muslim-american-activism-annual-icna-convention-draws-more-than-3000.html. 














Decades earlier in the 1970s and 1980s, Imam Griggs belonged to the now-moribund Islamic 
Party of North America (IPNA), a group whose foundational text, Taking Islam to the Street: The 
Da ’wah of the Islamic Party of North America, preaches a version of Islam which is grounded 
in: 


“the Revolutionary Islamic political and social thoughts of Sayyid Qutb, Qaddafi, 
Khomeini, andMaududi to the [...] streets of Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, 
Cleveland and a dozen other cities .” 25 

In 1976, Griggs attended the “Zionism is Racism” conference in Tripoli, where he received 
$100,000 from the Qaddafi regime for the purpose of establishing an IPNA headquarters in 
Washington, D.C. 26 

Today, ICNA-CO is among the most active Islamic organizations in the Denver-metro area. They 
regularly hold a number of events at local mosques and frequently set up informational booths at 
city and state fairs and community events. 

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): The Council on American Relations (CAIR), 
founded in 1994, was “established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in 
America,” to protect Muslims from hate crimes and discrimination, and to present “an Islamic 
perspective on issues of importance to the American public.” 27 Today, CAIR is headquartered in 
Washington, D.C., and is perhaps the most influential Muslim grassroots organization in 
American politics. 

Since its establishment, CAIR has been linked to a number of Islamist terrorist organizations. Its 
founders, Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber all once had close ties to the Islamic 
Association of Palestine (IAP), a now-defunct group which was establish by one senior Hamas 
operative, Mousa Abu Marzook, as Hamas’s propaganda and recruitment wing in the US. 28 
Marzook would later provide CAIR with a $5,000 donation to open its headquarters in 
Washington, D.C. through his charity organization, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). HLF has 
been found guilty of providing direct support to Hamas to the tune of $ 12 million and has been 


25 "The Problem of a Radical Imam at Wake Forest University." Frontpage Mag. June 23, 2015. Accessed February 
12, 2019. https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/122886/problem-radical-imam-wake-forest-universitv-donald-l- 

woodsmall . 

26 Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and Jane I. Smith. Muslim Minorities in the West: Visible and Invisible. Walnut Creek, 
CA: AltaMira Press, 2002. Chapter 5, “Islamic Party in North America: A Quiet Storm of Political Activism.” - 
Khalid Fattah Griggs 

27 "About." CAIR Houston. Accessed March 04, 2019. http://cairhouston.org/about.htm. 

28 "Profile: Council on American Islamic Relations." Anti-Defamation Leage. 2015. Accessed March 01, 2019. 
https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/israel-international/israel-middle-east/Profile-The- 
Council-on-American-Islamic-Relations.pdf. 





designated by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office as a Specifically Designated Global 
Terrorist organization. 29 When then-President George W. Bush subsequently closed HLF in 2001, 
CAIR described his decision as “unjust” and “disturbing.” During the later 2007 HLF trial, CAIR 
co-founder Omar Ahmad was named as an unindicted co-conspirator, with prosecutors 
describing him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee in the US. 30 

At one 1994 meeting at Barry University, CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad openly stated “I am a 
supporter of the Hamas movement.’”' 1 Further evidence submitted in the 2007 Holy Land 
Foundation trial also reveals that back in 1993, Awad attended a meeting in Philadelphia of 
Hamas operatives and leaders who were working on a plan to pass off fundraising for Hamas as 
donations for charity. 32 

The long history of links between CAIR and terrorist organizations goes on, but even so, one 
doesn’t need to look that deeply or thoroughly to find evidence of CAIR’s extremism. In the 
wake of 9/11, CAIR and its officials have long maintained a number of conspiracy theories 
which refuse to directly blame Osama bin Laden for the attacks, and further, suggesting that US 
foreign policy is dictated by Zionist extremists. 33 

CAIR Colorado: CAIR’s Colorado chapter is still relatively new, having been officially 
established in May of 2017. Since then, it has held events in Denver where it makes little effort 
in concealing its extremist views and its deeper interests. In September 2018, it held an event 
titled “Faith Led, Justice Driven,” a fundraising banquet which featured as guests CAIR co¬ 
founder Nihad Awad, and the director of CAIR’s Florida chapter, Hassan Shibly. 34 

Awad’s history of extremism, anti-Semitism, and li nk s to terrorist organizations is well 
documented. The same is true of the other speaker at the banquet, Hassan Shibly. Shibly also 


29 "Federal Judge Hands Downs Sentences in Holy Land Foundation Case." The United States Department of 
Justice. September 16, 2014. Accessed March 04, 2019. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-judge-hands-downs- 
sentences-holy-land-foundation-case. 

30 Gerstein, Josh. "Report: Feds Close Probe of CAIR Founder." POLITICO. April 15, 2011. Accessed March 04, 
2019. https://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2011/04/report-feds-close-probe-of-cair-founder-035045. 

31 "CAIR's Awad: In Support of the Hamas Movement." The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Accessed March 04, 
2019. https://www.investigativeproject.org/223/cairs-awad-in-support-of-the-hamas-movement. 

32 McCarthy, Andrew C. "The Roots of CAIR's Intimidation Campaign." National Review. April 19, 2014. Accessed 
March 04, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2014/04/roots-cairs-intimidation-campaign-andrew-c-mccarthy/. 

33 Emerson, Steven. "Part 5: Quick To Defend Alleged Terrorists, CAIR Even Questioned A1 Qaeda 9/11 Role." The 
Investigative Project on Terrorism. Accessed March 04, 2019. https://www.investigativeproject.org/629/quick-to- 
defend-alleged-terrorists-cair. 


34 Kalam, Ahnaf. "Former Denver Broncos Star Legitimates CAIR." Counter-Islamist Grid. Accessed March 04, 
2019. https://counterislamist.org/former-denver-broncos-star-legitimates-cair/. 



shares Awad’s support for Hamas. In the past, he has publicly showed his support for the 
Palestinian terrorist, Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five consecutive life sentences for five 
murders and a whole range of terrorism-related charges. 35 Shibly, in 2014, also co-sponsored a 
pro-Hamas rally outside Miami’s Israeli embassy where attendees chanted “we are Hamas!” and 
“let’s go Hamas!” 36 

In one Facebook post 2009, Shibly wrote that homosexuality is “a quick way to earn God’s 
wrath,” further elaborating in a later post that: 

“if God says marriage is solely between a man and a woman, or, if he permits polygamy, 
then so be it. Who are we to question God? A slave has no authority to question the King 
in his own kingdom. ” 37 

Shibly also shares Awad’s anti-Semitic views and his conspiracy-peddling about the state of 
Israel. In a different post from 2009, Shibly shared a series of photos from Israel and the 
Palestinian Territories juxtaposed alongside images of the Nazis and the Holocaust with the 

caption “Grandchildren of the Holocaust are doing 
to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to them.” 38 

In addition to his extreme and intolerant views 
towards Jews and homosexuals, Shibly also 
advocates violence against other Muslims. Shibly 
has vocally endorsed the global Islamist 
organization, Khatm Nubuwwa (KN), a group 
which is actively dedicated to inciting hated and 
violence against Ahmadiyya Muslims, a minority 
sect within Islam often targeted by extremists who 
consider them to be apostates and heretics. 39 


, Krista Cole shared a Page. 

September 9, 2018 

CAIR Colorado is having its launch fundraiser and banquet this coming 
Sunday, Sept. 16th, where Sister Nadeen Ibrahim will be honored with our 
2018 Call to Service Award! Come see her awarded, as well as our guest 
speaker, former 2015 Super Bowl Champion, Ryan Harris! 



Charity Organization 

| CAIR Colorado 

Liked ▼ 

234 people like this 



[£) Like 


($> Share 


35 "CAIR in Georgia, as Pro-Hamas as Ever” The American Spectator. Accessed March 04, 2019. https:// 
spectator.org/cair-in-georgia-as-pro-hamas-as-ever/. 

36 "Why CAIR Leader Hassan Shibly Fears a Terror Designation for Muslim Brotherhood." Frontpage Mag. May 
25, 2017. Accessed March 04, 2019. https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/266782/why-cair-leader-hassan-shibly- 
fears-terror-joe-kaufman. 

37 Kalam, Ahnaf. "Former Denver Broncos Star Legitimates CAIR." Counter-Islamist Grid. Accessed March 04, 
2019. https://counterislamist.org/former-denver-broncos-star-legitimates-cair/. 

38 Ibid. 

39 Westrop, Sam. "Leading American Islamist Endorses Violent Anti-Ahmadi Group." Middle East Forum. Accessed 
March 04, 2019. https://www.meforum.org/islamist-watch/54371/leading-american-islamist-endorses-violent-anti. 



At that same banquet in Denver, CAIR Colorado presented Nadeen Ibrahim with its 2018 Call to 
Service Award. 40 

Not only are the affiliations and activities of CAIR and its board members antithetical to the 
goals of CVE, but CAIR has also vocally expressed its opposition to the existence of any CVE 
program, 41 which it believes wrongly singles out and targets Muslim Americans. But CAIR’s 
history of creating distrust towards law enforcement amongst Muslim communities is long and 
well documented. In a number of past campaigns and pieces of media, CAIR has been a vocal 
advocate of a conspiracy theory which suggests that the informants for the FBI and US law 
enforcement are working to wrongly entrap Muslims, even going as far as suggesting that FBI 
agents are secret agents of the Israeli MOSSAD. 42 

CAIR’s goals of creating distrust between Muslim communities and law enforcement, its links to 
terrorism, and its opposition to the existence of a CVE program should all be reason for concern 
with the appointment of Nadeen Ibrahim. A decade ago, even the FBI severed its ties with CAIR 
over its support for Hamas 43 

Islamic Relief: Islamic Relief Worldwide is one the world’s largest Islamic charities with 
branches in over 20 countries. It reports an income of hundreds of millions of dollars, funded 
largely by Western governments. 44 Because of its strong ties to Hamas and the Muslim 
Brotherhood, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have designated the charity to be a financier of 
terrorism 45 In 2005, Islamic Relief was accused by Russian authorities of supporting Islamist 
terrorism in Chechnya. In 2016, HSBC Banks shut down Islamic Relief’s accounts. 46 The 
following year, the government of Bangladesh banned Islamic Relief from working with 
Rohingya refugees over concerns with radicalization. 47 


40 Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/msaauraria/permalink/1795782203874846/ 

41 "CAIR ISLAM-OPED: Government's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Approach Continues to Single Out 
Muslims." CAIR. Accessed March 04, 2019. https://www.cair.com/ 

cair_islam_oped_government_s_countering_violent_extremism_cve_approach_continues_to_single_out_muslims. 

42 Emerson, Steve. "CAIR: Muslims Should Resist the FBI." Newsmax. May 11, 2011. Accessed March 04, 2019. 
https://www.newsmax.com/emerson/cair-muslims-fbi/2011/05/ll/id/395939/. 

43 Abrams, Joseph. "FBI Cuts Ties With CAIR Following Terror Financing Trial." Accessed March 10, 2019. https:// 
www.foxnews.com/politics/fbi-cuts-ties-with-cair-following-terror-fmancing-trial. 

44 Westrop, Sam. "Islamic Relief Is a Cog in a Dangerous Machine." The National. July 03, 2018. Accessed March 
07, 2019. https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/islamic-relief-is-a-cog-in-a-dangerous-machine-l.746636. 

45 Westrop, Sam. "Islamic Relief: Charity, Extremism & Terror." Middle East Forum. Accessed March 07, 2019. 
https://www.meforum.org/7403/islamic-relief-charity-extremism-terror. 

46 Ibid. 


47 Ibid. 




Its board members and trustees include: its founder, Hany El-Banna, a Muslim Brotherhood 
member and supporter of Hamas; its co-founder, Essam El Haddad, former foreign policy 
advisor to Mohamed Morsi’s then-Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt; the chainnan of its 
USA branch, Khaled Lamada, a Muslim Brotherhood lobbyist and Hamas supporter; and Ahmed 
Al-Rawi, who was named as the Muslim Brotherhood’s “main declared British affiliate,” and 
who, in 2014, signed a declaration advocating jihad against US and UK forces in Iraq; among 
others individuals with extremist connections. 48 

From 2014 to 2018, Nadeem Ibrahim was the Colorado volunteer contact for Islamic Relief 
USA. According to her Linkedln profile, she: 

"Recruited and coordinated volunteers for Islamic Relief USA Colorado events, served 
as committee core member for charity events that yielded more than $75,000 in 
donations, assisted in the creation of the Colorado Islamic Relief USA Disaster 
Response Team, and facilitated networking opportunities for the national staff with local 
Muslim leaders. ” 49 

Muslim Student Association (MSA): While a student at CU Denver, Nadeen was the president 
of the Colorado University Muslim Students Association (MSA) 50 , a campus organization 
affiliated with MSA National, a group with longtime ties to the Muslim Brotherhood since its 
founding in 1963 by Muslim Brotherhood members. 51 In 1986, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 
mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was a member of MSA at North Carolina A&T. 52 In the 1990s, 
Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni al-Qaeda cleric who helped orchestrate the 2009 Fort Hood 
massacre, the 2009 underwear-bomber plot, an the attempted Times Square bombing of 2010, 
served as president of MSA at Colorado State University. There are countless other instances of 
MSA officials and members being linked to Islamist terror groups since MSA’s founding. 53 


48 Ibid. 


49 Nadeen Ibrahim on Linkedln. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadeen-ibrahim-465534a9/ 

50 "yigji Held for College Students Shot in Chapel Hill - My Met Media." The Student Voice of MSU Denver. 
Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.mymetmedia.com/the-metropolitan/vigil-held-for-college-students-shot-in- 
chapel-hill/. 

51 "The Muslim Brotherhood's Muslim Students'Association: What Americans Need to Know." Center for Security 
Policy. May 01, 2018. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/04/29/the-muslim- 
brotherhoods-muslim-students-association-what-americans-need-to-know/. 

52 Ibid. 


53 Poole, Patrick. "Muslim Student Group Graduates To Outright Terror Recruitment." Accessed March 10, 2019. 
https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/muslim-student-group-graduates-to-outright-terror-recruitment/. 



The MSA chapter at Auraria Campus, of which Nadeen was president, helped to co-organize the 
previously mentioned ICNA event on campus which featured Khalid Griggs. 

MSA Auraria also holds events in partnership with the Colorado Muslims Community Center 
(CMCC), 54 a local Islamic center owned and operated by the radical imam, Karim Abuzaid. 
Abuzaid advocates openly during his sermons extremist ideologies such as that fornicators 
should be flogged, and adulterers stoned; that AIDS is god’s punishment for homosexuality; 55 
that Jerusalem will one day “come back to the Muslims”; and that Jews are the enemies of 
Muslims, among other extreme beliefs. 56 

Further concerns with Nadeen Ibrahim: In addition to the number of extremist-linked groups 
Nadeen Ibrahim is associated with, her own positions and demonstrated activities are also 
counterproductive to the proposed goals of CVE. Since as far back as 2014, Nadeen, in 
conjunction with the local BDS movement, has regularly organized anti-Israel demonstrations in 
Downtown Denver. At these demonstrations, hundreds of protesters take to the streets chanting 
such anti-Israel, pro-Hamas slogans as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” 57 - a 
reference to the land between River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, effectively denying the 
right to Jewish self-determination and calling for a full removal of Jews from the region. 

Nadeen Ibrahim’s name also appears on a list of signatories to an open letter opposing and 
boycotting the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI). 58 According to its website, MLI is aimed at 

“ ...build[ing] relationships of understanding, respect, and trust between North American 
Muslim and Jewish communities. Through a rigorous academic curriculum and exposure 
to diverse narratives, MLI seeks to expand participants' critical understanding of the 
complex religious, political, and socioeconomic issues facing people in Israel and 
Palestine. The program invites North American Muslims to explore how Jews 
understand Judaism, Israel, and Jewish peoplehood. ” 59 


54 “MSA Auraria.” Event. Facebook. Accessed March 14, 2019. https://www.facebook.com/events/ 
2233602806915167/ 

55 Kalam, Ahnaf. "Censoring Moderate Muslims." Islamist Watch. Accessed March 14, 2019. https:// 
www.meforum.org/islamist-watch/53170/censoring-moderate-muslims. 

56 "PSWC Condemns Violent Antisemitism Allegedly Promoted by Imam Coming to Toronto." FSWC. Accessed 
March 14, 2019. https://www.friendsofsimonwiesenthalcenter.com/news/fswc-condemns-violent-antisemitism- 
allegedly-promoted-by-imam-coming-to-toronto. 

57 Ashton, Dave. Morning Magazine Radio Broadcast 12/14/2017. https://www.voutube.com/watch? 
v=YOFIUor4Ftw 

58 "Say No to Faithwashing: Boycott Muslim Leadership Initiative." Boycottmli.wordpress.com. February 18, 2015. 
Accessed March 07, 2019. https://boycottmli.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/say-no-to-faithwashing-boycott-muslim- 
leadership-initiative/. 

59 Sharonet. "Muslim Leadership Initiative." Faculty - Shalom Hartman Institute. Accessed March 07, 2019. https:// 
hartman.org. il/Programs_Landing_Page.asp?Cat_Id=517. 





Also on the list of signatories are Omar Suleiman, an Islamist hate-preacher; 60 Hatem Bazian, the 
radical UC Berkeley professor who has publicly and repeatedly called for a “violent Intifada in 
the US”; 61 the University of South Florida professor, Sami Al-Arian, a longtime Muslim 
Brotherhood member who was the North American leader for the US State Department 
designated terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and who has since been 
deported to Turkey; 62 the anti-Semite and Hezbollah supporter Abbas Hamideh; 63 and over 200 
other signatories including dozens of other extremists. Also on the list are ICNA and the Muslim 
Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim Americans Society (MAS). 

Nadeen Ibrahim also organizes the Muslim Youth Empowennent Conference here in Denver. 64 
The most recent event was co-sponsored by the Muslim Americans Society (MAS), an 
organization founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood which, despite its claims to the 
contrary, continues to operate as one of the main US branches of the Brotherhood. 65 Even on 
MAS’s official website, it promotes publications authored by or advocating the beliefs of Hassan 
al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and by the infamous radical cleric Yusuf al- 
Qaradawi. 66 


60 Swindle, David M. "The Worst of Omar Suleiman." Middle East Forum. Accessed March 10, 2019. https:// 
www.meforum. org/islamist-watch/5145 5/the-worst-of-omar-suleiman. 

61 Harris, Jonathan Calt. "A Berkeley Profs "Intifada" Against America." Middle East Forum. Accessed March 07, 
2019. https://www.mefomm.org/593/a-berkeley-profs-intifada-against-america. 

62 "Sami Al-Arian: Farewell to a Tenured Terrorist." Frontpage Mag. June 23, 2015. Accessed March 07, 2019. 
https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/250865/sami-al-arian-farewell-tenured-terrorist-john-perazzo. 

63 "Abbas Hamideh." Anti-Defamation League. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.adl.org/resources/ 
backgrounders/abbas-hamideh. 

64 "Colorado Muslim Youth Empowerment: Challenges of Muslim Youth Today." Colorado Muslims Network. 
Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.coloradomuslimsnetwork.com/colorado-muslim-youth-empowerment- 
challenges-of-muslim-youth-today/. 

65 TESTIMONY for Hearing before: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee 
on National Security “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat” Submitted by Dr. M. ZUHDI JASSER 
PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY July 11, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/ 
20180712153422/https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Jasser-AIFD-Statement-Muslim- 
Brotherhood-7-11 .pdf 


66 "MAS Projects." Muslim American Society. Accessed March 07, 2019. http://www.muslimamericansociety.org/ 
what-we-do/mas-projects/. 



Policy Suggestions: 


• First and foremost, Denver Police Department should reconsider Nadeen Ibrahim and Colorado 
Muslims Connection as the designated actors in charge of community outreach for CVE. Her 
activities and affiliations demonstrate that her ambitions and ideals are at odds with the 
intended outcome of CVE. 

• CVE should be modified or restructured to focus on countering local radicalizing forces within 
the local community. This would include the following components: 1) Community Outreach 
and Partnership; 2) Research, Education & Training; 3) Countering Propaganda and Radical 
Narratives. 

Community Outreach & Partnership: In order to communicate and foster a productive 
relationship with the Muslim communities within Denver, a functional outreach program must be 
implemented. This program should aim to do several things: 1) Designate an individual, group, 
or organization of moderate Muslims to act as representative liaisons between law enforcement 
and at-risk communities; 2) The designated liaison(s) will form a coalition of anti-Islamist 
Muslims to challenge and compete against prominent local Islamist organizations and networks; 
3) Hold regular meetings between Denver officials, the designated liaison(s), and members of 
Muslim communities to identify threats and combat extremist networks. 

While it may be difficult to designate a moderate Muslim community partner, especially given 
the seemingly-benign methods by which radical Islamists lawfully operate, there are a number of 
basic criteria for detennining whether an individual or an organization in question is a subscriber 
to radical and extreme ideologies. DPD should not include in its CVE efforts: 67 

• Individuals or organizations that condone violence against civilians; 

• Individuals or organizations that advocate for attacks against the US and its allies; 

• Individuals or organizations that support or make excuses for designated terrorist groups; 

• Organizations designated by the US or its allies as designated terrorist groups; 

• Organizations which provide platforms to individuals who incite violence, particularly 
against non-Muslims and Muslim minority sects; 

• Individuals and organizations who do not recognize the rights of Sufis, Ahmadiyya 
Muslims, and other minority Muslim sects to identify as Muslims; 

• People or organizations that incite violence and hatred against Muslim apostates; 

• Individuals or organizations that are funded or linked to US designated state sponsors of 
terrorism; 

• Organizations that fail or refuse to disclose all of their foreign funding. 


67 Westrop, Sam. “Rethinking Counter-Extremism.” Middle East Forum November 1, 2018. 



Research, Education & Training: CVE must also include a provision which provides 
appropriate training and education to both law enforcement and Muslim community members 
that is designed to identify foreign and domestic Islamist organizations and the front 
organizations under whose guise they operate. This would include the following components: 1) 
a team of researchers, including members of the Muslim community, to help identify radical 
networks linked to schools, charities, non-profits, grassroots organizations, and other 
organizations - both online, and on the ground; 2) Individuals from within the Muslim 
community to identify any imams, clerics, mosques, and religious centers that preach extremist 
Islamist ideology, and separating them from the ones that preach moderate, non-politicized 
Islam; 3) A training program which would equip law enforcement, as well as the public, to better 
understand the warning signs of Islamist radicalization and would prepare them for early- 
intervention practices. 

Unless competing, extremist narratives are delegitimized, moderate voices will not be allowed an 
opportunity to become the representative examples for Muslims in the US. The objective of this 
component is to effectively delegitimize mosques, religious centers, and clerics who preach 
Islamist extremism while simultaneously legitimizing and mainstreaming the peaceful, moderate 
religious centers, allowing them to reclaim their positions as the representative voices for 
American Muslims. 

Countering Propaganda and Extremist Narratives: To actively counter violent extremism, 
the CVE program must intervene while the would-be violent extremists are still at the stage of 
non-violent radicalization. In order to successfully prevent at-risk members of the Muslim 
community from becoming radicalized towards violent Islamist extremism, CVE should include 
provisions to achieve the following goals: 1) The creation of a Muslim-led initiative to create 
counter narratives to Islamist propaganda; 2) The implementation of a research-based strategy to 
successfully communicate with at-risk youth who are susceptible to online radicalization via 
social media. 

Conclusion: 

In order to successfully identify and counter the threat of violent Islamist extremism, one of the 
only solutions is to empower the moderate Muslims and ensure that their voice is allowed to 
drown out the competing radical, extremist narratives within Denver. The implementation of any 
CVE program is certainly a good first step, but in order to succeed in its objectives, it must reject 
many of the fallacious and illogical foundational premises and questionable partnership choices 
advocated by the previous CVE proposal. 

In order to assist Denver Police in the structuring and implementation of a successful CVE 
program, the Counter-Islamist Grid is available as a resource to provide expert briefings and 
consultations on radical Islamist networks in Denver, the US, and abroad. 



You can contact the Counter-Islamist Grid in either of the following ways: 


Kyle Shideler 

Director 

Director@counterislamist.org 

(215) 709-0770 

Ahnaf Kalam 

Denver Associate 
ahnafkalam@gmail.com 

(720) 975-5068